MIAMI GARDENS, FL (AFP) – On Sunday, New Englanders play Miami’s dolphins.
Before that, the Patriots will face the Miami heat.
Soaring temperatures in the mid-60s to mid-70s are expected around Foxboro, Massachusetts, for the next few days — and the way Patriots coach Bill Belichick sees them, these may not be the best weather conditions to prepare his team for the excitement that awaits them in South Florida on Sunday when New England and Miami start the regular season.
So the Patriots fly south on Tuesday, and practice this week in Palm Beach County, an hour or so from the dolphin facilities. The sweltering temperatures out there this week are hitting the low 90s every day, and the game-day predictions demand more of the same — low 90s, plenty of humidity, and in terms of choosing your Belichick’s favorite sidewear, jackets may not be the ideal choice.
“They’re better than SPF,” said Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel.
Sunscreen—likely one of the high SPF group—is sure to be packed among all the gear the Patriots will bring south for the trip. It’s not a totally foreign concept for New England to take the Game Week Show on the road; The Patriots spent a week in Las Vegas last month before facing the Raiders there in a pre-season game.
“I think there are a combination of factors, but in the end everything seems to be set up fairly well here,” Belichick said. “So, travel on Tuesday instead of Saturday. We will already be down there. We will only be able to focus on the dolphins.”
In recent years, even for a perennial winner like the Patriots, trips to the Sunshine State – where summer doesn’t end just because everything pumpkin spice hits the stores – haven’t always gone to New England’s liking, and perhaps the weather has also been a factor in some of these. Results.
New England are 3-8 in the past 11 regular season games played in Florida, including losses by double-digit margins twice – a 97-degree day at Jacksonville in 2018, and an 89-degree day at Miami Gardens in 2014.
“It would be great for the players to acclimate to this heat,” Patriots defensive lineman Davon Goodshaw, a former Dolphin player who knows how different conditions can be in south Florida, told reporters in Foxborough last week. “Either it’s hot out there or it’s going to rain.”
Maybe both. Meteorologists also say it’s best to have 50-50 precipitation on Sunday.
“I don’t think I or Coach Belichick – I don’t want to speak for him – but I think that’s just an element trying to help his team prepare for that game, but it’s not the whole of it,” McDaniel said. “I feel very lucky, almost very lucky, because I work on my tan all the time. I’m sure there are a lot of Patriots players and coaches (who) are going to be excited, you know, to get the bronze medal a little bit before the TV regular season starts. I know it’s for a fact That if you don’t wear sunscreen you will get a bronze color.”
The Dolphins were having their in-court celebration of Jason Jenkins’ life on Monday. Jenkins spent nearly 14 years with Dolphins and eventually became Senior Vice President of Communications. He died unexpectedly on August 27 at the age of 47.
Jenkins is survived by his wife, Liz, and their three children. And his death remains very difficult for McDaniel.
“You just try to rely on the people that you love and care about, and you try to rely on each other as a team and give your best self forward,” McDaniel said. “But that feeling doesn’t go away.”
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